Rail Express March 2020

RAIL EXPRESS is Britain's favourite modern rail enthusiast title. Undoubtedly the best for modern traction photography, the magazine keeps readers informed and entertained with undiluted coverage of Britain's railways in the diesel and electric era. First produced in 1996, RE has set a new standard for the hobby, with a clean design, high quality paper and the best reproduction. January 2008 saw the magazine relaunched in an innovative 'supersize' format, showing off the ground-breaking contents to the best advantage. Every issue includes news and analysis covering the present day railway scene, plus the latest preservation developments. Also inside: RAIL EXPRESS Modeler - Diesel & Electric era modeling magazine

United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
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12 Ausgaben

in dieser ausgabe

2 Min
hs2 is go, at last

SO February 11 brought the news the rail industry has long been waiting for, as the Government gave the go-ahead to the full HS2 scheme from Euston to Birmingham and on to Manchester and Leeds. Plans were first announced more than 10 years ago (see Time Traveller, page 31), but – abit like the Brexit issue – it divided opinion along non-party lines, with supporters and opponents on both the left and right of the political spectrum. Now though – and again like Brexit – whichever side you were on before, a decision has been made and everyone can focus on making the best of it. The impact of HS2 on our railways cannot be overstated. The timescales mean there will be up to 20 years of major construction, helping to keep…

4 Min
government takes over northern franchise

THE Northern franchise is to end five years early on February 29, after the Government finally lost confidence in the ability of Arriva Rail North, a subsidiary of German operator Deutsche Bahn, to restore service reliability after a prolonged period of disruption. It will be run instead by the state-owned Operator of Last Resort. There has been no evidence that the expertise available through Deutsche Bahn has been able to make any difference. Indeed, DB is now looking to sell Arriva as it suffers its own performance issues and a financial shortfall at home. The current Northern contract could be regarded as a third-generation agreement when compared to the earlier franchises in the north, as it includes a plan to increase capacity to meet growing demand. This included creating a ‘Northern Connect’…

2 Min
green light for full hs2

THE Government gave its go-ahead to the full HS2 project on February 11, promising Phase 1 from London to Birmingham can get underway immediately, but plans for Phase 2 to Manchester and Leeds need further development. The cost of the full HS2 line could eventually reach more than £100 billion, nearly double the original budget of £56 billion, but after the December 2019 election the Government promised to address the past low level of investment in the rail network outside London. Construction of Phase 1 is expected to take around 10 years, with Phase 2 another five to 10 years after that – meaning high speed trains might not reach the northern cities until 2040. With a funding requirement of some £5 billion annually, this could mean a reduction in the intended…

1 Min
lner to retain some class 91s and mk.4s into 2022

WITH its HST fleet withdrawn in December (see February issue), the remainder of the Class 91 and Mk.4 sets were expected to follow and be fully removed from East Coast Main Line this year. However, LNER has indicated it will now retain as many as 15 trains for use into 2021 and 2022 – and possibly longer to assist with delivering the upgraded December 2021 timetable. They are expected to be used on Leeds services, with two sets retained as ‘hot spares’. Despite that good news, however, January 25 saw No. 91132 stopped at Bounds Green, while No. 91104 was stored two days later on the 27th but promptly reactivated on the 30th. By the end of the month, Nos. 91122 and 91128 were also out of action, both being lined up…

3 Min
in brief

TOP AWARDS FOR TEST CAR 2 QUORN Wagon & Wagon picked up two prizes at the Heritage Railway Association’s 2020 Awards on February 8, for the restoration of former departmental vehicle Test Car 2. The group won the Modern Traction Award, sponsored by Rail Express, plus the Morgan Award for outstanding achievement. Other winners on the night were the National Railway Museum for its Brass, Steel and Fire exhibition (Heritage Railway Interpretation Award); Richard Croucher and Bob Meanley (dual winners of The Railway Magazine Railway Preservationist of the Year); Philip Civil of the Chasewater Railway (Young Volunteer of the Year); the Dartmouth Steam Railway & Riverboat Company for its ‘Train of Lights’ (HRA Award for Special Events); and Volk’s Electric Railway Association (HRA Large Groups). EAST WEST BOOST AFTER a period of consultation, East…

4 Min
first ‘777’ arrives

THE first of the 52 Stadler-built Class 777 EMUs ordered by Merseyrail arrived at Kirkdale depot on January 16 for commissioning to begin. The four-car units will replace the network’s existing three-car Class 507 and 508 fleets, which are now more than 40 years old. The new fleet was ordered in February 2017, the £700 million contract including servicing and maintenance throughout the projected 35-year service life and a purpose-built depot at Kirkdale. The deal includes an option for up to 60 more units if required by future expansion of the network. The trains are being built at Stadler plants in Switzerland and Poland, then transported to the UK by rail via the Channel Tunnel. The units are powered by 750V DC third-rail, but there is provision to fit an overhead AC…